Chinese business tycoon Kwan Wai-ming bought a parking spot at the Upton residential building in Hong Kong. However, the executive director of Huarong Investment Stock Corp didn’t just buy a regular parking place.
He bought the space at the first floor of the luxury apartment building near the harborfront in the west of Hong Kong Island, for a whopping $664,300.
Last year, a slightly smaller parking spot was purchased at 55 Conduit Road at the Mid-Levels, for $615,000 but Kwan’s latest buy topped the price, setting a new world record.
According to the data and records by the Land Registry, Lot No. 14 measures 188 square feet and is just 40 percent bigger than the typical parking space.
However, the business tycoon bought a parking spot for the price of an apartment.
The massive amount of money paid for a parking place indicates a broader rise in real-estate values.
“This is basically the price of one flat in Hong Kong,” said Lennon Choy, an associate professor of real estate and construction at the University of Hong Kong. “This is crazy, actually.”
This year, Hong Kong was named as the world’s most expensive place to live for the seventh year in a row. According to some measures, it is also the world’s most expensive housing market per square foot, this means the city is the most expensive urban center to live and work in.
Sky-high prices of offices, villas and apartment units have given way to increased prices of car parking spaces. For some people, this is a status symbol while for some it is an investment opportunity.
Though, for the regular public this extravagance is of no use. In 2016, the Hong Kong Poverty Report 2011-15 released figures showing that the city’s richest were now earning about 29 times what the poorest make, up from 26 times in 2014. The number of low-income households also jumped by 1.7 percent from 454,100 in 2014 to 461,900 in 2015.
Small businesses close down after being unable to pay high rents, and residents are barely able to finance a decent living, while such wealthy Chinese investors and developers monopolize the property market with an influx of money.
According to several critics, the government keeps alleged close ties with the business and investment community instead of constructing a more reasonable public housing for its citizens.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters